Are men who take selfies narcissistic?

Are men who take selfies narcissistic?


If you step outside your house and make a trip to the mall, the grocery store or a restaurant, you will probably witness someone taking a selfie. A recent study discovered some interesting personality traits of these selfie takers.

Researchers at The Ohio State University asked 800 men between the ages of 18 to 40 to complete a personality questionnaire and answer questions about their habits when it comes to posting photos online. They found that those who posted more online photos of themselves scored higher on measures of narcissism and psychopathy.

Additionally, those who edited their selfies before posting also scored higher for narcissism as well as self-objectification (how much they value their appearance).

“It’s not surprising that men who post a lot of selfies and spend more time editing them are more narcissistic, but this is the first time it has actually been confirmed in a study,” said Jesse Fox, lead study author and assistant professor of communication at The Ohio State University. “The more interesting finding is that they also score higher on this other anti-social personality trait, psychopathy, and are more prone to self-objectification.”

According to Sarah Katula, an advanced practice nurse at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill, being in a relationship with a narcissistic person can be very difficult because your feelings, wishes and wants are not considered.

“When someone is truly struggling with the disorder they do not recognize it because they have built a defense around the hurt and the wounding that occurred earlier on that left them with chronic low self-esteem,” says Katula. “These defenses include not being able to empathize with others, seeing one’s self as more important, more beautiful and smarter than they are.”

She also recommends that a potential narcissist, or anyone involved with one, evaluate the action and see if it is a problem.


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  1. This is a really interesting topic! So, does this only apply to men? Do women take less selfies? Would the same be true, regardless of gender?

  2. The author is conducting another study on women right now….stay tuned!

  3. This is why I don’t take or post many selfies. When I see one, I do associate it with these findings!

  4. Ernst Lamothe Jr January 12, 2015 at 10:27 am · Reply

    This is definitely a human being trait not just men. I have seen more guys over the years start taking selfies of themselves in the locker room which I also never understood.

  5. Here’s my question, why does everything must have a label? I mean everything today seems to be some sort of disorder. I enjoy taking selfies sometimes just to show off my hair because it’s fun to do so. It doesn’t mean I’m narcissistic. My mate doesn’t like taking photos of himself at all does that mean he has a disorder. I know this study is about males but this too can apply to females. I agree that to some degree some of these peope will be narcissistic but not many because by looking at my friends list would mean 90% of male friends are narcissistic. That is a high percentage in which I disagree that 90% of male friends are narcissistic because they take tons of selfies. I look at selfies for fun, laughs and giggles. We as a society are too quick to not look at life open-mindedly. We look for things to be classified into categories and when things don’t fit we slap a label on it.
    I’m just expressing my opinion.

  6. I do understand that a selfie or any picture posted on any website from either a man or woman. This does not indicate any type of narcissism.

  7. Wow, that one wasn’t exactly news. While I don’t think that everyone who takes selfies is self-centered or narcisssistic, the post-baby-boom generations seem alarmingly less interested in preserving their privacy, more willing to share details that other people shouldn’t have, and more willing to make themselves the center of the universe. Somehow, we became a ‘confessional’ society (thanks for nothing, Oprah and Jerry Srpinger!), and none of that is healthy when you really think about it. Really: the world doesn’t revolve around us — that’s the big lesson we try to teach our children so they can be productive, compassionate adults.

    Me? I hate taking selfies and would just as soon take a shot of any place worth photographing without me in it. But then, I’m a print journalist who was trained never to insert myself into my news reporting and save my opinions for the editorial page, not the news section (and I really hate that in order to get work these days, journalists have to ‘become a brand’ instead of just be excellent writers and editors; that seems upside down, emphasizing all the wrong things). I imagine the transition to me-oriented media, niche publications, selective online news provision, etc., is all part of that same package as the me-generations, confessional society and taking selfies … and was a lot easier for the ‘talking heads’ in broadcasting to make than for us in print who still try to put the story — and others — first.

    I do make one exception for selfies: family occasions. Who doesn’t want to be in the Christmas pictures? They’re memories you save.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.